Spork is named after the title character, who goes by that name due to her brother’s cruel teasing about the fact she was born a hermaphrodite. She’s frizzy-haired and perennially put upon by her classmates, who like nothing better than bullying her loner nature and intersex biology.
With a school dance-off coming up, Spork decides to enter and prove she’s more than just a loser. With the help of her trailer park neighbour, Tootsie Roll, she starts learning how to bust some moves, and also attracts the attention of young Charlie. However the bitchy, popular, mean girls aren’t about to allow Spork to upstage them and so they launch a campaign to bring her down in the cruellest way possible.
Spork is one of those movies that will be loved by some but will perplex others. It’s avowedly indie, with a quirky spirit and moments of pure camp. It’s also film that likes to break into song and dance, whether it’s bopping along to 90s tunes or getting the cast to show off their vocal skills. However the fact it’s a bit of a hodgepodge of influences means some will find it a tad frustrating while others will love its free spirit.
It’s a bit odd really, as the first half seems determined to be a wholly original creation, whose biggest influence feel like John Waters-style camp. However the second half suddenly goes in a slightly more stereotypical teen flick direction, even if it’s like a teen flick on acid. It’s a bit Mean Girls, a tad Grease and has plenty of John Hughes style 80s teen comedy thrown. It’s all works quite well, although the final dance-off seems far-too Napoleon Dynamite, to the point where it almost feels like a rip-off.
It’s a bit of a shame, as it starts off really well, but the second half feels like a slightly different movie to the first, resulting in a fun film that’s not just charmingly off-kilter but also slightly off-balance. However if you fancy a funny teen comedy with an indie spirit and which manages the contrary feat of charting its own course while feeling a bit like a 101 moments borrowed from other films, it’s worth a look.
Overall Verdict: The first half is great and while it loses focus and some of its originality towards the end, Spork is still a fresh, funny, musical treat.
Reviewer: Tim Isaac